Each month, we will be showcasing out-of-industry sites that exhibit creative and innovative digital design.
As we near mid-August, it seems only fitting to feature a site that is equally impressive and seasonally relevant. We’re talking about Weber Grill’s site - BBQ Cultures. This interactive web tool goes above and beyond to teach you about different BBQ techniques, recipes and cultures as well as showcase some of the awesome Weber products - all in a choose-your-own-adventure style. The site is extremely engaging and the attention to detail is incredible, from the design to the videos to the animations and beyond.
The homepage immediately introduces the site as user controlled. As if to teach you how to use the various functions, a toggle appears to load the rest of the site. It’s simple yet thoughtful details like this that make it obvious how much they considered their target audience when designing it. From a design perspective, the site uses more than just gorgeous video and imagery. Hand drawn illustrations and BBQ-esqe icons speak to the hands-on side of grilling culture.
Notable design features include:
- Sound and visual queues that promote interaction
- Subtle cinemagraphs at section breaks
- Custom illustrations and icons
- Engaging video tutorials and storylines that capture grilling culture worldwide
Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Site Navigation
One of the most unique aspects of the BBQ cultures site is that rather than having a traditional, stationary navigation along the top or side of the page, you are guided through a series of videos and choices. Once you’ve entered the site, the first short video plays. Afterwards, you are given various options. You can read more about the ‘woods’ culture, learn about a product, check out a recipe or simply continue the journey. This pattern continues as you move throughout the site. Not sure what to choose? The site will guide you through some of the different options after a fixed amount of time. While the lack of traditional navigation may be foreign to a lot of users, it encourages you to explore in a new way that is much more interesting.
As previously mentioned, the BBQ Culture site is all about the small, thoughtful details, especially when it comes to my favorite part: the recipes. Not only does the site have great, easy to follow custom tutorials, it also gives users the option to choose what meat they’re grilling, how much of it there is and how well done they’d like it. Once you’ve set your preferences, a chart is generated with your specific instructions.
In addition to being customizable, the video tutorials have some really unique annotations that are both pretty and extremely helpful.
I can’t help but love the BBQ Cultures site. It’s fun, educational, well-designed and thoughtful. Realistically, it’s not too often that you come across a site with such a vast amount of content that keeps you this engaged. Every time I revisit the site, I stumble across new techniques and compelling facts. Part of this is due to the organization of the content. Everything is broken out into simple sections that cover the gamete of not only BBQ Culture but Weber’s brand culture. See what they did there? They made you fall in love with the site, grilling AND their brand. Sneaky. Now I’m off to grill up some beef tenderloin. Wish me luck!
Want to see more? Check out the other posts in the series.